In this article, you will learn about 7 Points to keep in mind before installing solar panels on your roof. Instead of installing your personal panels, look into shared or community solar. This approach lets a lot of different customers buy a stake in solar installation and receive credits on their electricity bills.
1. Do you have a roof that can carry solar panels?
This is pretty important. If your roof is sheltered in shade most of the day throughout the year, it might not have a good enough “solar window” to justify the costs of panels. That’s something you’ll like to assess before you move forward. If your roof won’t cut it, or you can’t make the call for the reason that you rent your apartment or live in a multi-unit building, you don’t have to give up on solar power altogether.
If you do have a properly sunlit rooftop to work with and make sure it’s in good shape structurally. Solar installations now days can come with warranties for 20 or 25 years. However, the companies do not have a first-class quality service or business hold in the country and when the time comes; you might not get the deserved support and service. Instead, go for a liable company that offers a replacement warranty for the big or small solar panels for home use.
2. To Improve Efficiency have you really done everything you are capable of?
The amount of solar energy you need to create depends on how much you use, so it makes sense to trim your usage as much as possible before paying for all those panels. Start with an energy check and look for efficiency upgrades before you draw up blueprints.
3. Which kind of Solar makes sense?
The two leading solar technologies to choose from are photovoltaic, which uses arrays of cells to turn sunlight into electricity, and thermal, which uses sunlight to heat water or air for utilize inside. If your home uses plenty of energy for heating, or you live somewhere where heating fuel is costly relative to electricity, a solar thermal investment could break even sooner.
4. How do you connect to the grid?
The details vary depending on where you live, but the rule is that any time you’re connecting with a utility, there are a lot of logistics to sort out. Do you have to pay a fee? How extended does it take for the utility to get you hooked up? Once you are attached, how and when will you be credited for the electricity you generate?
That last one refers to net-metering, the rehearsal by which utilities reimburse rooftop solar at the same rate as they charge users for electricity. This is a politically fraught territory: some states, like Nevada, have adopted policies where utilities pay less for surplus solar, which makes it harder to recover the cost of the installation.
5. Is your Installer trustworthy?
This applies any time you appoint someone to come into your home, but solar combines the logistics of a home improvement project with the risks of electrical work. Qualifications and references are especially important. “You wouldn’t hire an electrician who had never done electrical work to come into your house and transform things around.
This is harder to guess, but, preferably, you want a company that will stick around for the lifetime of your installation. Since solar cells don’t have moving pieces, they tend to need very little safeguarding.
6. Lease or buy?
Every household will need to run its own cost-gain analysis on this basic trade-off. Purchasing your own system costs more up front but pays bigger dividends; leasing lets you access cheaper electricity with little or no money down, but the benefits are more limited. The company you contract with owns the system if you lease, and you pay them a certain rate for the electricity. Also once the lease is up, they might take the system away.
When you own the system, it can keep running for you long after it pays off the price of the purchase. Ensure you compare the total lifecycle cost of the lease and weigh the savings against the benefits you would get from ownership.
In your financial analysis, consider that the panels can function for decades. Don’t forget to factor in replacements for those other system components when making the budget of the project.
7. What should you see in your contract?
The contract you sign should explain all the details of financing, ownership, and performance expectations. Also, because these systems can include web-enabled devices, you should verify if anyone is collecting data on your home energy production and usage and who has access to it.
That’s a lot of details to remember. And if you’re not getting the answers that you need, then it’s probably best to seek some legal advice.